Fan Outrage Causes Oppo To Continue Updating R819


On Wednesday, it was revealed on the Oppo official forums that Oppo was planning to cease firmware updates for the Oppo R819, for a phone that just released back in September, a mere eight months ago, this caused all sorts of hurt feelings.

Making matters worse, on Oppo’s R819 product page, was the promise of “frequent firmware updates” for the ColorOS ROM(Oppo’s take on Android).

The announcement that no more updates would be coming, while many users are still complaining about bugs while using ColorOS with the R819, resulted in a lot of hurt feelings and accusations of betrayal. Oppo had done a great job of building a vibrant community and fostering brand loyalty, and a lot of that looked to be destroyed by the announcement. Users were claiming they would never buy an Oppo again, that they may as well have gone with a cheaper  competitor if this is how Oppo plans to support its customers, while others threatened to go with the mainstream brands. Some even mentioned OnePlus, the feisty startup that was founded by a former Oppo executive, as a viable alternative.

Then, Oppo started doing what enabled that community to grow in the first place. First, they issued an apology. When that didn’t work, they announced that the overwhelming customer complaints had persuaded them to reverse course, ColorOS updates would be coming to the R819 afterall.

While a few customers still maintained that Oppo has lost their trust, the majority were happy to see that Oppo was responsive to their concerns. While it is certainly disheartening that Oppo was even planning to end R819 support, regardless of the size of its install base, when it promised to support them, reversing course and deciding to support it shows just how much Oppo pays attention to its community.

Despite the promise of future support, the Oppo R819 product page no longer includes the claim of frequent firmware support.

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4 Comments

  1. April 12, 2014

    Hmmm…This seems to be a “why all things are good” article. And BTW, it’s not FAN outrage, it’s CUSTOMER outrage.

    I think that all vendors should have a 3 year budget set aside for updates for any device they release. It’s one of the reasons to adopt a “stock Android + customizations-as-a-package” strategy, since it would be a lot less work to stick closer to the AOSP codebase.

    If Oppo wanted to EOL the product, they should have paid Cyanogen to port CM11 to the device and hand over OS support to them. Some customers would be irritated, but 95% of them would have accepted the move, and viewed it as positive. Even the naysayers couldn’t really complain, since it’s 1000% better than what Samsung, et al do. Ensuring CM support is a way to make sure that customers can keep using and updating their devices long after the company has forgotten that they even manufactured them. In fact that should ALWAYS be their EOL strategy for their devices.

    What’s completely puzzling is that Oppo wants to port ColorOS to competing devices at the same time that they drop support for their own. It’s clear that at the top levels inside Oppo they don’t really understand what the OS is. They seem to think that to be a big-boy you need to have your own OS. And clearly Oppo’s leadership WANTS to wear the big boy pants.

    • POY
      April 12, 2014

      I agree, its a pity they can’t make Android a rolling release where you get updates all the time to it

    • Ian DeMartino
      April 13, 2014

      This isn’t meant to be a fluff article. Oppo clearly made a mistake by ending support for something they promised. Then they fixed it. It is not meant to be an opinion piece, so I didn’t slam Oppo too hard, but felt that I made it apparent that the outrage was clearly felt and forced them to change. If anything, I was trying to get across that the power of their customers actually made them change, and that is a good sign with these up and coming companies (would this have happened with Samsung? Probably not.)

      I will work on making my writing more clear.

      As for the Fan vs Customer. You have to understand that for Google search purposes, you don’t want your title to be too long. Also, people on their forums are more than just customers, chances are they are ALSO fans. The customers that just bought an Oppo and went on their merily way probably never would have noticed until their R819 turned buggy from lack of updates. That being said, you’ll notice I called them customers in the article and not fans, because it is more important to note that they are customers and the fact that they are on an Oppo message board should make it obvious that they are fans.

      I am sincerely thankful for the constructive criticism though, so please keep it up.

      And I mostly agree with you that they should just switch to CM. I haven’t played around with ColorOS enough to judge if it’s worth keeping around, but Oppo has clearly has some long term plans with it (that you alluded to). I personally think that curious moves like almost dropping R819 support, put whatever those long term plans are at risk.

  2. Sheeplag
    April 12, 2014

    wow i wish Lenovo could learn something from this. Well,at lease Lenovo never promise any update from the beginning lol. move along nothing to see here.